Children’s clothing retailer Children's Place Retail Stores (PLCE) reported Wednesday a 25% drop in fiscal fourth-quarter earnings due to lower-than-expected sales. 

The company also announced a stock buyback program totaling $50 million.

For the quarter ended Jan. 28, Children's Place reported a profit of $24.2 million, or 98 cents per share, down from $32.1 million, or $1.23 per share, in the previous year.

The company has projected earnings of $1.03 to $1.08 per share for the current quarter, and predicts earnings of $3.10 to $3.30 per share for the year. 

Thomson Reuters analysts had expected current quarter earnings of $1.14 and annual earnings of $3.64.

Children’s Place attributed the softness to higher product costs and unseasonably warm January weather, which forced it to prematurely mark down coats, pants, and other winter items.

In 2012, the company says it will rely heavily on growth of e-commerce, improved merchandise selection and inventory management.